Madagascar is bracing for Cyclone Batsirai days after Tropical Storm Ana devastated the Country. The cyclone which formed on 27th January over the Indian ocean is predicted to make landfall in Madagascar on 5th February/tomorrow. Up to 595,000 people could be affected, and 140,000 people displaced as winds are expected to reach 160mph with torrential rainfall.
CARE Madagascar has deployed two emergency response teams to the region where the cyclone is anticipated to make landfall. One team is headed to Manakara (South-East) and the second to Vatomandry (East) where CARE has an operational presence and ongoing programming.
Monique Morazain, CARE Country Director in Madagascar said: “At CARE we are concerned about the impact Cyclone Batsirai will have on the communities we work in especially on women and girls who have already been impacted, not only by climate change but also COVID-19. Women and girls have been disproportionately affected by the extreme weather patterns that have wreaked havoc in the country. Apart from the Cyclone, parts of Madagascar are still reeling from the worst drought that has hit the country in several years pushing over one million people into food insecurity.”
Cyclone Batsirai was preceded by Tropical Storm Ana which wreaked havoc across Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi, and Zambia less than a week ago. The storm left in its wake at least 80 people dead, tens of thousands homeless, and severe infrastructure damage.
Morazin says; “Our humanitarian teams on the ground will be coordinating with and working alongside the local municipalities to rapidly identify and fill any gaps that may arise right after the cyclone passes. We have basic relief items such as shelter kits ready to help provide temporary shelters and meet the basic needs of approximately 3,320 people. More resources will be needed to scale up the response based on the humanitarian needs analysis.”
Cyclone Batsirai is then forecasted to cross into the Mozambique channel early next week and possibly into Mozambique. Predictions indicate strong winds could buffet Inhambane province where CARE has programs and staff. Christine Beasley, CARE Country Director in Mozambique said: “It is not clear how serious Batsirai is going to impact Mozambique. For now, we are monitoring the cyclone even as we continue to finalize plans to support communities affected by Tropical Storm Ana. In Zambezia and Nampula, we plan on offering shelter and WASH support to communities whose homes were damaged.”
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CARE Senior Press Officer